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Aya [Hardcover]

Marguerite Abouet , Clément Oubrerie
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
Price: £12.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Aug 2007 Aya

For the residents of Yopougon, everyday life is good. It is the early 1970s, a golden time - work is plentiful, hospitals are clean and well equipped, and school is obligatory. The Ivory Coast is as an island of relative wealth and stability in West Africa. For the teenagers of the town, though, worries are plentiful, and life in Yop City is far from simple.

Aya tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, the clear-sighted and bookish Aya, and her carefree and fun-loving friends Adjoua and Bintou. Navigating meddling relatives and neighbours, the girls spend a last summer of their childhood on the sun-warmed streets of Yop City - sneaking out for dancing at open-air bars, strong solibra beer, chicken in peanut sauce and avoiding at all costs the scandal pages of the Calamity Morning....

Aya is a captivating, colourful and hugely entertaining portrayal of an Africa we rarely see, spirited and resilient, and full of the sounds, sights and smells of a prosperous town and its varied inhabitants.

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Aya + Aya: The Secrets Come Out + Aya: Love in Yop City
Price For All Three: £40.99

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (2 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224081845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224081849
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 232,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A gentle, nostalgic account'
-- Guardian

'Abouet and her illustrator...have brought this vanished time and place vividly back to life with evocative storytelling and artwork.'
-- Scotland on Sunday

'Aya's greatest trick is the way it bridges cultural divides so naturally'
-- Plan B

`...charming, vividly drawn and coloured comic...graphics are stylish and striking and the dialogue quick and witty...close to perfect'
-- Independent on Sunday

About the Author

Marguerite Abouet was born in Abidjan in 1971 and now lives outside Paris.

Clément Oubrerie was born in Paris in 1966 and has illustrated more than forty children's books.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden book... 15 Jun 2009
Aha, this is volume two of the wonderful graphic novel series and finds our heroine Aya continuing her role as the calm hub at the centre of some wild comic goings on.

Not to give the story away... (see vol1)... but the baby is born and who will claim paternity?

As I said in a review of vol 1 this is almost Shakesperean in its comic mastery, and the drawings are even better than they were in volume 1. The unfortunate Moussa gets a job. Herve wants to spell and will Aya enter a beauty competition?

What is so heart warming about this series is the time and care taken over the artwork... all sorts of special details and subtle effects.

I think we have here a modest legend in the making. Indispensable, for anyone who might have read other graphic novel classics like Maus, Persopolis, Alison Bechdel's Fun House and Dykes to watch out for. But all this with an African twist.

Golden, heart-warming, life affirming. What is there not to love, o?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All families are dreary in the same way 31 Dec 2011
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read the first Aya book after several years of avoiding comics and really enjoyed it. The artwork was fresh, the story (though somewhat soap opera-ish) was enjoyable, and the world seemed familiar to Westerners yet distinctively African. I picked this sequel up after a few years of reading hundreds and hundreds of comic books and found it to be not at all what I was expecting it to be.

The artwork is ok but the story is just too slight to make up an entire book. Aya is an independent woman who isn't throwing her life away too early by becoming a single mother and then abandoning hope of a career or a life outside of Yop City. Commendable but then she doesn't really do much else but observe her friends and family doing the opposite. Her friend is pregnant - but who's the father? Her dad's having an affair! And that's about it. Some romantic misunderstandings and it feels very much like a comic book version of your average soap - slight, brainless, and ultimately a waste of time.

I wanted to like this series but having discovered a wealth of comic books available that offer far more substantial content, I've found that "Aya of Yop City" isn't one of them.

Better comic books: "Habibi" by Craig Thompson, "War Stories" by Garth Ennis, "Transmetropolitan" by Warren Ellis, "It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken" by Seth, "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel, "Hark a Vagrant!" by Kate Beaton, "Paying for It" by Chester Brown.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very happy! 10 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Finally managed to purchase (in English) the complete Aya set and was very happy with my purhcase--from beginning to end!
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Either everyone is reviewing the wrong book, or Amazon has decided to group the reviews of all the different volumes of Aya's adventures together. This review is for Book 1 only.

I thought it was wonderful. The Yop City setting was well realised, and the characters felt quite distinctive while retaining their broad comedic brushstrokes. It felt a little odd to have the title character play an almost peripheral part to the story, but seeing the interaction of her friends and family through her eyes was actually rather interesting. I quite liked the art as well, it had a certain 70s quality to it, with strong bold colours and firm inking. You don't need to be an Africaphile or graphic novel devotee to enjoy it: the storyline is sufficiently fun and accessible for casual graphic novel readers, and there are some fun, witty comments on gender relations to enjoy. I will be checking out Marguerite Abouet's other work following this.
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